photosynthesis

providing our oxygen

more information

You breathe around 13 times a minute without even thinking about it. It is partly thanks to photosynthesis that there is enough oxygen in the air to do this.

You breathe around 13 times a minute without even thinking about it. It is partly thanks to photosynthesis that there is enough oxygen in the air to do this.

Natural reaction

Plants, algae and certain bacteria change carbon dioxide (CO2) and water into glucose (sugars) and oxygen (O2). They use sunlight as the source of energy to do this. This process is called photosynthesis.

The reaction that happens looks like this:

water (H2O) + carbon dioxide (CO2) --> glucose (C6H12O6) + oxygen (O2)

Waste but vitally important

Oxygen is in fact a waste product of photosynthesis but is, of course, of vital importance to life on earth. About 50% of the total oxygen on earth is produced by the algae in our oceans. The algae also absorb enormous amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to combat the greenhouse effect.